Activities

Our activities are designed to share insights, challenge the status quo and foster the kind of debates and discussions that lead to improvements in health outcomes.
Activities include analysis, commentary, reports, events, infographics and videos.

Analysis and commentaries

Universal health coverage and chronic kidney disease in India

July 2018

Theme: Transforming health systems

With an estimated 188 million cases of kidney-disease in low- and middle-income countries, associated health expenditure is catastrophic. This article outlines the cost implications of chronic Kidney disease on progress to universal health coverage in India. See the full article in the Bulletin of the WHO.

Australia’s appointment to the UN Human Rights Council means it must deliver on Indigenous engagement in alcohol control

2018

Theme: Promoting healthy environments

Given our new position on the UNHRC (for 2018-2020) this article outlines the need for Australia to be better at protecting Indigenous human rights. See the full article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Investing in non-communicable disease prevention and management to advance the Sustainable Development Goals

May 2018

Theme: Transforming health systems

This article forms part of Lancet series by Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and focuses on the importance of investing in NCD treatments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. See the full article in The Lancet.

Funding therapies for rare diseases: an ethical dilemma with a potential solution

February 2017

Theme: Transforming health systems

In Australia there is a legislative requirement to consider cost-effectiveness when funding therapies, which presents a challenge when considering funding for rare diseases. This article explores the ethical questions and possible solution for funding therapies for rare diseases. See the full article in the Australian Health Review.

Financing patient-centred health care homes through value capture

April 2017

Theme: Transforming health systems

This article outlines an innovative approach to financing of patient-centred healthcare in Australia. See the full article in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Making guidelines for economic evaluations relevant to public health in Australia

November 2016

Theme: Transforming health systems

When economic factors are considered in public health policy there are substantial cost-effectiveness benefits to be gained. This article argues the case for making guidelines for economic evaluations useful for public health interventions in Australia. See the full article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

To Close the Gap we need to identify the best (and worst) buys in Indigenous health

December 2016

Theme: Promoting healthy environments

Closing the Gap is the overarching national strategy to overcome the persistent disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This article focuses on the importance of incorporating economic notions of value into Indigenous health policy in Australia. See the full article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Health economics summaries

Cost effectiveness of ready-made and custom-made eyeglasses in India

Theme: Promoting healthy environments

Background

Uncorrected refractive error (URE) is the leading cause of vision impairment globally. It occurs when the eye cannot clearly focus the images from the outside world, resulting in blurred vision and potentially affecting a person’s social interaction, education and ability to work.

This condition affects at least 150 million individuals between the ages of 5 and 50 years around the world, including almost 31 million people in India alone. On top of the impact to quality of life for people affected, there are significant economic implications of URE. Previous studies have estimated that URE results in a global loss of productivity equivalent to about $427 billion USD.

While URE is very easy to treat with eye-glasses(glasses), there are high levels of unmet need. One significant barrier to obtaining glasses is the associated cost.

Our study

We examined whether there was a significant difference in the effectiveness of ready-made glasses versus custom made glasses, to determine the cost effectiveness of these different options.

In a randomised trial some people were given ready-made glasses and others were provided with custom-made glasses.

At the conclusion of the trial we found there was no significant difference in the effectiveness of ready-made glasses versus custom-made glasses.

Economic impact

Our findings suggest that, in areas where costs are limiting the reach of traditional programmes, ready-made glasses are a viable and cheaper alternative to effectively address URE.

Custom made glasses cost 792 INR (US$16.53) per pair to make and provide to patients. Ready-made glasses cost of 204 INR (US$4.25) per pair. Using estimates of the prevalence of URE in India and the cost to provide glasses in this trial, we calculated it would cost approximately 6.3 billion INR (US$131.6 million) to treat the entire affected Indian population with ready-made glasses, and just under 24.6 billion INR (US$513.7 million) with custom-made glasses.

Previous analysis has suggested that while 89% of patients do very well with ready-made glasses, the remainder still require custom made glasses as ready-made glasses cannot correct for astigmatism and anisometropia. Our study highlights the potential to use ready-made glasses as a triage process; all patients are initially provided with ready-made glasses, then custom making glasses for those who are not appropriately treated or satisfied with these glasses. Our results suggest that such a two-stage process would still dramatically reduce the costs associated with refractive correction in these settings.

Read the full article, ‘Ready-made and custom-made eyeglasses in India: a cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomised controlled trial’ in BMJ Open Ophthalmology.

Events

We regularly participate in academic conferences and policy discussions, as well as host policy round tables, symposia and public talks.

Fixed-dose combinations for cardiovascular disease and hypertension: Perspectives and lessons learned from HIV/AIDS and TB

United Kingdom, 3 July 2018 

Theme: Transforming health systems

Fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) for prevention of cardiovascular disease and hypertension have shown promising results but progress on their uptake and use has been slow. 

This international symposium brought experts working on FDCs for CVD and hypertension together with experts working in the fields of HIV and TB, as well as representatives from governmental, non-governmental organizations, civil society, industry and funders.

The final aim was to provoke a lively discussion around the barriers to FDC implementation and to explore the next steps in moving this agenda forward through further research, advocacy and policy change.

READ MORE

Ensuring the collection, analysis and reporting of sex- and gender-specific health data

Australia, 29 May 2018

Theme: Women's health equity

This forum was arranged in response to recent research that examined whether the leading funding bodies and peer-reviewed journals in Australia have policies and practices to support the collection, analysis and reporting of sex- and gender-specific health data and identified barriers and facilitators to the implementation of such policies and practices. 

The purpose of this forum was to present the findings from our research, to have an open conversation with key stakeholders on this important issue and reach consensus about the need for and the strategies that will be required to ensure the collection, analysis and reporting of sex- and gender-specific health data in Australia. We know by comparison to other parts of the world that Australia is behind best practice. READ MORE

Roundtable on Progress toward Universal Health Coverage

India, 15 May 2018

Theme: Transforming health systems

India’s current program of universal health coverage aims to provide reasonable access to health care for its 1.3 billion population. It is a monumental initiative that has been reinforced in recent times by a commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the announcement by the Government of India in early 2018 of the National Health Protection Program (NHPS) or ‘Modicare’. The challenges of achieving UHC are enormous. India currently has over 1 billion people uninsured and it has been estimated that 63 million Indians each year experience impoverishment due to illness and injury. In addition, high out-of-pocket costs pose significant barriers for many patients to treatment and long-term care.

The focus of this roundtable was to examine progress to UHC, explore key challenges particularly in relation to the setting of investment priorities and interactions with the private sector through strategic purchasing. Given the nature of the federal system in India, and geographical variations in epidemiology and socio-demographics, an understanding of the different challenges across states will be critical. READ MORE

International Digital Health Symposium

Australia, 21 February 2018

Theme: Transforming health systems

Digital health leaders from around the globe met at the inaugural International Digital Health Symposium in Sydney to learn from different global approaches to digital innovation that are inclusive, evidence-based, and support sustainable, high quality health and care.

The leaders discussed the global advancement of digital health policy, how digital health can support clinical quality and safety, challenges in healthcare interoperability, data sharing for health systems improvement, and building the evidence base for digital health benefits. The management of global public health priorities, new approaches to disease prevention, and maximising the benefits of precision medicine were also discussed. READ MORE

Women’s health through life course and empowerment

China, 4 August 2017

Theme: Women's health equity

In spite of the remarkable achievements obtained in women’s health, the significant burden of NCDs is also severe for women globally, which is currently urgent to address. During this event we called for an expanded women’s health agenda, a gender approach, and gender equality in healthcare. 

During the symposium, experts in fields of medicine, sociology and health economics were actively engaged in discussions on gender quality, health accessibility, and health delivery. They discussed in-depth the relationship between women’s health, empowerment and development.  Meanwhile, they also put forward plenty of valuable suggestions and recommendations for providing women’s healthcare service throughout life, promoting family planning technical service, and facilitating multi-sector collaboration. READ MORE

Fixed-dose combinations for cardiovascular disease and hypertension: Perspectives and lessons learned from HIV/AIDS and TB, London, UK

Fixed-dose combinations for cardiovascular disease and hypertension: Perspectives and lessons learned from HIV/AIDS and TB, London, UK

International Digital Health Symposium, Sydney, Australia

International Digital Health Symposium, Sydney, Australia

Women’s health through life course and empowerment symposium, Beijing, China

Women’s health through life course and empowerment symposium, Beijing, China

Videos

PhD candidate Polly Huang, recipient of the Inaugural John Yu Fellowship, talks about China Salt Substitute and Stroke Study, which aims to lower blood pressure across China by using a salt substitute.

Watch the video

Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Distinguished Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health and Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at University of Oxford, talks about why technology projects in health and social care fail.

Watch the video

Podcasts and audio recordings

We invite thought leaders from around the world to speak and share insights on a range of topics.

Recent talks include understanding the progress towards universal health coverage in the Western Pacific Region, the importance of sex and gender in science innovation, and the value of understanding cultural contexts in health.

Listen to these talks by clicking on the links below.

Professor Londa Schiebinger of Stanford University discusses the importance of integrating gender analysis to achieve excellence in science and technology research.

Dr Vivian Lin, Director, Health Systems, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, presents a global overview of the 13GPW and plans for implementation in the Western Pacific Region.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh of University of Oxford illustrates how narrative research can assist to illustrate health in cultural contexts.